Driving To Despair – Poor maintenance, poor policing, poor traffic rules enforcement, too much wrong with India’s roads

Source: The post is based on the article “Driving To Despair – Poor maintenance, poor policing, poor traffic rules enforcement, too much wrong with India’s roads” published in The Times of India on 9th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc..

Relevance: About preventing accidents on Indian roads.

News: Recent road accidents in Delhi, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu highlight the multiple dimensions of risks and accidents on Indian roads.

A third of the 4. 1 lakh documented road accidents in 2021 resulted in 1. 5 lakh deaths. Another third of the accidents resulted in grievous injuries.

What should be done to reduce accidents on Indian roads?

Ensure proper lighting: Women motorists and pedestrians will feel much safer on better-lit roads. Further, these roads enable improved road visibility.

Added responsibility: Agencies like NHAI and state public works departments, should not only construct and maintain major roads but also has to be entrusted with maintaining poor road conditions like potholes, inadequate signages and unscientific road construction.

Encourage Samaritan initiatives: The government should incentivise public participation in taking victims to hospitals promptly and reimbursing hospitals for emergency trauma care.

Implementing Electronic monitoring: The Motor Vehicles Act as amended in 2019 empowered state governments to conduct electronic monitoring of roads through speed cameras, CCTV cameras, speed guns, body wearable cameras etc. Investments in such tech upgrades should happen faster.

From policing to courts to transport departments to public works to healthcare, a ‘whole of government’ approach can make citizens safer.  Road safety enforcement should be the next generation of governance reforms that India must target.

Read more: Road Safety in India – Explained, pointwise

 

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